Wireless Networking


Calix Doubles Down on Genuine Industry Standards

binder of standards and compliance

Calix is a leading provider of broadband communication access systems and software that helps broadband service providers (BSPs) offer internet-related services to homeowners, renters, and businesses.

The company, founded in 1999 and based in San Jose, Calif., offers cloud, software platforms, systems, and services to BSPs and has embraced an innovative strategy around industry standards that helps it remain ahead of the competition while providing benefits to BSPs and their customers.

The primary benefit of adhering to industry standards is that it ensures interoperability. Calix leverages several independent guidelines to ensure that its equipment works seamlessly with products from other manufacturers and hardware used by other BSPs.

Interoperability is essential in the broadband industry since it helps to promote competition, innovation, and, ultimately, the delivery of high-quality services to end users.

By complying with industry standards, such as independent protocols like BBF TR-369, ITU-T PON, and Wi-Fi Alliance certification programs, Calix also warrants that its products and services meet the highest levels of quality, security, and reliability.

This approach is fundamental since the broadband industry is continually evolving, and adherence to standards confirms that BSPs can keep up with these changes.

Moreover, Calix’s adherence to industry standards ensures its products and services are future-proof. In the broadband industry, new protocols are continually emerging, and following those verifies that BSPs can adopt new technologies as they become available.

By staying ahead of the curve in this regard, Calix’s products and service offerings maintain relevancy and capability to meet the evolving needs of BSPs and their customers.

Standards Turbocharge Services and Sustainability

One of the most significant benefits of Calix’s strategy around industry standards allows service providers to offer a wider range of services to their subscribers.

For example, by endorsing the Wi-Fi Alliance certification programs, Calix allows BSPs to offer advanced Wi-Fi services such as Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E — and Wi-Fi 7, which should be certified in early 2024. These advanced Wi-Fi services deliver faster speeds, improved coverage, and increased capacity, providing end users with a better overall experience.

Calix’s commitment to industry standards permits service providers to deploy new technologies more quickly and efficiently. The company’s support for these standards allows BSPs to offer higher speeds while consuming less power, reducing their carbon footprint and contributing to a more sustainable future.

This approach helps BSPs to remain competitive by offering faster speeds and better services to their customers without incurring significant costs.

Another benefit of Calix’s strategy around industry standards is the ability to provide its subscribers with enhanced security and privacy features. By adhering to ITU-T PON standards, Calix ensures its equipment uses advanced encryption technologies to secure communication over fiber optic lines, providing end users with a more secure and private broadband experience.

It should also be noted that Calix’s approach to industry standards aligns with the company’s commitment to sustainability. Calix adheres to these independent protocols to ensure its products and services are designed for energy efficiency and environmental friendliness.  Another great example is Calix’s industry standards commitment to the TR-369 technical standard, also known as User Services Platform or USP.

TR-369 is best described as an application layer protocol for the remote management of connected consumer and enterprise devices by BSPs and end users. This standard is the follow-up to the TR-069 protocol, which was released in 2004 to help the remote management of modems, routers, and gateways during an era when homes had no more than one or two PCs.

With today’s homes often having 25 or more connected devices, TR-369 offers more scale in its ability to control the lifecycle management of smart and IoT devices while also facilitating interoperability between providers.

Closing Thoughts

Ultimately, Calix’s industry standards strategy is a significant advantage for BSPs. By adhering to these independent protocols, Calix ensures that its products and services are interoperable, secure, reliable, future-proof, and aligned with its sustainability commitment.

The ability to offer a broader range of services to their end users, as well as deploying new technologies more quickly, efficiently, securely, and privacy-focused, are significant benefits for BSPs. Ultimately, the result is a better overall broadband experience for end users, promoting innovation, competition, and a sustainable future for the entire broadband industry.

I recently hosted Bob Carrick, Global Strategic Lead of the Calix Cloud, on my podcast to articulate why the company believes genuine industry standards are central to its broadband service providers’ and subscribers’ long-term success.

It’s a critical dialogue that doesn’t get the sufficient attention it requires, particularly in light of BSPs focusing more energy, resources, and creativity around offering more value to their customers.

Since the dawn of the industrial age, industry standards have played an essential role in ensuring that infrastructure, products, and services are safe, reliable, and of high quality while promoting innovation and interoperability.

Quaint as it may seem today, it’s difficult to imagine building a home, building, airport, or other public works projects without the tailwind of standards that augments scalability, rapid production, cost-efficiency, and safety.

Unfortunately, the benefits of these independent protocols are muted when a single company controls the standard, forcing users to use their products or services.

Apple and Windows ecosystems are telling examples of two competing industry standards that force iPhone users to stay in the Apple ecosystem and deny Windows users the advantages of accessing text messages on Windows PCs robustly. In that scenario, Windows users who own iPhones are penalized, limiting their overall productivity.

An industry standards approach drives innovation in a way that simply is not possible when a single company owns a standard. It also has a differentiation benefit that allows BSPs of all sizes to customize their offerings to homeowners, renters, and small businesses in a resource-friendly manner.

We only need to look back at back when the Bell System operated (e.g., limited competition, high prices, sparse offerings, and little innovation) before it was deregulated in 1982 to have an appreciation for how far the communications industry has come in the past 41 years. Are we headed back to those days? Not if Calix can help it.

Mark N. Vena

Mark N. Vena has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2022. As a technology industry veteran for over 25 years, Mark covers numerous tech topics, including PCs, smartphones, smart homes, connected health, security, PC and console gaming, and streaming entertainment solutions. Vena is the CEO and Principal Analyst at SmartTech Research, based in Silicon Valley. Email Mark.

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